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Ex-Red Hat lawyer joins open-source group

Mark Webbink, who's dealt with open-source legal issues for years, is now on the board of the Software Freedom Law Center.

Mark Webbink, who retired in August as a senior attorney for Linux seller Red Hat, has joined the board of the Software Freedom Law Center, the group said Wednesday.

Mark Webbink Red Hat

The SFLC provides free legal help to free and open-source programming projects--for example filing a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of BusyBox programmers against Monsoon Multimedia.

Webbink was Red Hat's general counsel from 2000 until 2004, when the company hired Michael Cunningham for the role and Webbink took over matters concerning open-source software and intellectual property until his retirement. In that role, he's had to reckon with subjects including the arrival of the new General Public License (GPL) version 3, the SCO Group's Linux litigation and Red Hat's response, and Microsoft's saber-rattling over patents.

Webbink is also a senior lecturing fellow with the Duke University School of Law.